Tax class Change after death of spouse or partner
If your spouse or partner dies, the Your partner will automatically switch your tax bracket to tax class III from the first month following the date of death. In the following year, you will also remain in tax class III. From the beginning of the second calendar year after the death of your spouse or partner, tax class I is formed programmatically for you. A change to tax class III after the death of your spouse or partner does not take place if you have lived separately at the time of death, for example, permanently separately. Instead of tax class III, you may also be eligible for the possibly more favourable tax class II if you are entitled to the relief amount for single parents. You can apply for tax class II from your competent tax office (see further information). Note: Since the entry into force of the law establishing the right to marry for persons of the same sex on 1.10.2017, no new civil partnerships can be established in Germany. Same-sex couples have been able to marry each other since then and are thus treated as same as different-sex couples. Existing civil partnerships can be converted into a marriage. However, there is no obligation to do so. Existing life partnerships can be continued in their current form.
The consideration of tax class II in the payroll tax deduction procedure must be requested in writing on the officially prescribed form from the competent tax office (see further information).
If you and your deceased spouse or civil partner or If your partner did not live separately at the time of death, you will automatically be placed in tax class III.
Section 38b Income Tax Act (EStG); The legal basis can be found on the Internet on the website of the Federal Ministry of Justice https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/estg/__38b.html
In principle, you do not need to do anything to obtain tax class III after the death of your spouse or partner or partner. If you wish to be classified in tax class II, you can apply for it with your competent tax office so that the relief amount for single parents can already be taken into account in the payroll tax deduction procedure (see further information).